You will be in London - buy a ticket for a sightseeing tour of the city center in an open double-decker bus. There are headphones, you can listen to explanations in different languages, including Russian. At Hyde Park you will hear that where the “corner of the speaker” is now, there was a place of execution. The executions have been London’s main public entertainment for centuries. The main gallows was an ingenious swivel structure: there, on unevenly high beams, there were 23 hinges, so it might have resembled the English something - either a Christmas tree with decorations, or something else. She had a more neutral name - “Derrick's car”, by the name of the most honored of the local executioners, there was even a saying “reliable, like Derrick's car”.
Where now Paddington station, there was another notable gallows, arranged, unlike the previous one, without any footsteps: three pillars, three crossbars, eight loops on the crossbar, so that it was possible to hang 24 people at once - one more than "Derrick". London’s historian Peter Aroyd lists from a dozen more famous places of execution, adding that often the gallows were simply at nameless intersections. And they worked without downtime, there was no underload. From time to time there was a crush in the crowd of spectators, the number of trampled to death once (at the beginning of the XIX century) reached twenty-eight.
Cruelty as a natural disaster
The Moscow publishing house Ad Marginem released in 1999 a translation of Michel Foucault's work “To Supervise and Punish” (by the way, another skinning is on the cover), containing quite a few quotations from regulations on executions and public torture in various European countries until the middle of the last century. European entertainers have used quite a bit of fantasy to make the executions not only extremely long and painful, but also spectacular - one of the chapters in Foucault’s book is entitled “Glitter Executions”. Reading is not for the impressionable.
Cruelty was generated by the constant devastating wars of the Western European powers after the Middle Ages (which were even more ruthless). Thirty-year war in the XVII century claimed half of the population of Germany and either 60, or 80 percent - historians argue - the population of its southern part. The Pope even temporarily allowed polygamy in order to restore the national population. The pacification of Cromwell Ireland cost her a 5 / 6 population. Ireland has never recovered from this blow. As for Russia, it has been on its territory for almost seven centuries, between Batu and Lenin, did not know such blood-lettings and was not familiar with such unbridled ferocity of manners.
Sorry, but I have to say a nasty thing: история Western civilization does not tune in to enormous optimism - its practice was so bloody and brutal. And not only in the distant past - in the recent twentieth century, too. In terms of bloodshed and atrocities, the twentieth century has surpassed any past. By and large, there is no guarantee that this civilization will not return to its usual practice. This is a much, much more serious question than our West-loving countrymen used to think. Knowing what we know about Western civilization (of which Hitler was a part), it is hard not to say: its narcissism looks rather strange.
Sounds unexpected? Then I will quote one of the most prominent historians of our time, Oxford professor Norman Davis: “Everyone agrees that the crimes of the West in the twentieth century undermined the moral basis of his claims, including his past claims”.
According to the calculations of the historian R. G. Skrynnikov, an expert on the era of Ivan the Terrible, the king was innocently executed and killed from 3 to 4 thousands of people. Skrynnikov insists that we are dealing with nothing more than mass terror, especially towards Novgorod, and it is difficult to disagree with him, although Ivan the Terrible is a meek child next to Louis XI nicknamed Spider, Richard III (whom Shakespeare described as "The most disgusting monster of tyranny"), by Henry VIII, Philip II, Jacob I Stewart, Duke of Alba, Cesare Borgia, Catherine de Medici, Karl Evil (without number), Charles V (son of Juana Mad), Charles IX (who organized St. Bartholomew's Night) Mary of the Blood, Lord Protector Cromwell and Mas nd other European cute characters ...
But I will continue the examples. Crusaders during the Albiguian wars massacred more than half of the population of southern France. The Prussian suppressor, Grand Master of the Order of the Crusaders, Conrad Wallenrod, angry at the Bishop of Courland, ordered the right hands to be cut off by all the peasants of his bishopric. And it was fulfilled! 16 February 1568 of the year (the time of the oprichnina Ivan the Terrible's height) the Holy Inquisition condemned to death (!) The inhabitants of the Netherlands as heretics, and the Spanish king Philip II ordered the execution of the sentence. This was not entirely successful, but the royal army did what it could. In Haarlem alone, thousands of 20 people were killed, and only in the Netherlands - 100 thousands.
The fact that today's political correctness perceives with horror, just a little more than a century ago, did not particularly avert anyone. John Richard Green, another classic of the English “history for readers”, quietly quoted Cromwell's report on work done in Ireland in 1874: “I ordered my soldiers to kill them all ... About a thousand people were killed in the church itself. I believe that all but two monks had their heads smashed ... ”
In the 13 century, not far from Paris, the giant gallows of Montfaucon was built. Monfocon was divided into cells by vertical pillars and horizontal beams and could serve as a place of execution for 50 people at the same time. As conceived by the creator of the de Marigny building, an adviser to the king, the sight of the many decaying bodies on Montfaucon should have warned the rest of his subjects against crime.
1 August 1793. Revolutionary French Convention issued a decree instructing "to destroy the Vendée." At the beginning of 1794. the army got down to business. “The Vendee should become a national cemetery,” proclaimed the brave General Turro, who led the “hellish columns” of the punishers. The crackdown lasted 18 months. Shots and guillotines (even children's guillotines were brought from Paris) were not enough to execute the decree. The destruction of people occurred, according to revolutionaries, not fast enough. Decided: to drown. The city of Nantes, according to Norman Davis, was "the Atlantic port of the slave trade, and therefore there was a whole fleet of huge floating prisons on hand." But even this fleet would quickly dry up. Therefore, they invented to bring the barge loaded with people on a reliable cable leash at the mouth of the Loire, to drown it, then again to pull it to the shore with ropes and to lightly dry it before new use. It turned out, writes Davis, "a wonderful reusable device for the execution."
It was not enough just to kill people to revolutionary entertainers. They were pleased to tear off their clothes and tie them in pairs before loading onto barges. Naked pregnant women were tied up face to face with old men, boys with old women, priests with girls, this was called “Republican weddings”.
To hide in the woods did not survive, but died of starvation, cattle were slaughtered, crops and houses were burned. The Jacobin General Westerman wrote enthusiastically to Paris: “Citizens are Republicans, the Vendée no longer exists! Thanks to our free saber, she died with her women and their offspring. Using the rights given to me, I trampled the children with horses, cut out the women. I have not regretted a single prisoner. I destroyed everyone. ” Entire departments were deserted, they were exterminated, according to various estimates, from 400 thousand to a million people. Sadly, the national conscience of France Vendée, apparently, does not torment.
In Russia, before the appearance of the Bolsheviks, nothing like the Vendean hecatomb had happened. And then it happened: on the Don, in the Tambov province, in other places.
Like any empire during the period of its construction, Russia walked heavily over the fate of a number of small peoples - Siberian and North Caucasian - there was no place for human rights and freedoms in their modern sense. One thing is for sure: there is no genocide in the full sense of the word on Russia's conscience. Everything is relative. American historian David Stannard in his book “The American Holocaust: Conquering the New World” showed that mastering America was accompanied by the most terrible ethnic cleansing in the history of mankind: in 400 years, aliens from the Old World physically destroyed about a hundred million (!) Indigenous people. On the Fifth Continent, the British exterminated most of the Australian Aborigines and all (!) Tasmanians.
America and Australia were far away, but when it became known to the Russian authorities that atrocities were happening near the borders of the empire, they sometimes went for direct intervention. The “Uman Massacre” in June 1768 of the year, during the so-called “Koleivshchyna”, claimed the lives of 20 thousands of Jews. Many thousands of Jews died, besides Uman, also in Lysyanka, Kanev, Cherkasy, Zhlobin, Korsun, Fastov, Belaya Tserkov and especially in Balta. Although all of this was happening on “sovereign Polish territory”, news of the scope of the atrocities prompted the Russian authorities to send General Krechetnikov’s corps against the Haidamaks, who broke them in a few days and possibly saved the Jews of the Right Bank of the Dnieper from complete annihilation.
Killings by law
Back in 1819, in England, there were 225 crimes and misdeeds that were reprimanded by the gallows. When the doctor at the English Embassy in St. Petersburg wrote in his diary in 1826, he was struck by the fact that only five criminals were executed in the wake of the Decembrist uprising in Russia, he clearly reflected the notions of his countrymen about the proportionality of crime and punishment. We have, he added, in a case of a military rebellion of such magnitude, probably three thousand or three people would be executed.
So looked at things everywhere in Europe. In Denmark, a law was passed in 1800 that provided for the death penalty for anyone who "at least advised" to abolish unlimited form of government. And eternal hard labor to anyone who dared to blame government actions.
Now take the "Russian Truth", it does not provide for the death penalty! From the Tale of Bygone Years, we know that Vladimir Svyatoslavich tried in 996 to introduce the death penalty for robbers. He did this on the advice of the Byzantine bishops, but soon he was forced to abandon cruel punishments uncharacteristic of Russia.
For the first time, the concept of the death penalty appears in Russia on the threshold of the 15th century in the statutory Dino Charter (for the third theft) and in the Pskov Judicial Charter (for treason, theft from the church, arson, horse thief and triple theft in the tenement).
The 1649 Code of the Year provides for the death penalty already in 63 cases - a lot, but still infinitely less than in Europe. Long trip to Western Europe in 1697-98gg. made the attentive and inquisitive Peter the Great impressed. Among other things, he decided that the material progress of the countries he visited was somehow connected with the cruelty of the laws and customs there, and he made the appropriate conclusions. It is no coincidence that the most brutal and massive action of his reign, the execution of 201 by the rebellious 30 archer on September 1698 in Moscow, occurred immediately after the young king returned from his 17 month-long European trip.
However, fighting an established value system is extremely difficult. In terms of the number of executions, even under Peter, Russia did not remotely approach the countries that served him as an ideal, and after his death this type of punishment abruptly declined. The middle of the XVIII century is marked by the actual abolition of the death penalty. In 1764, it turned out that there was no one to execute the sentence against Vasily Mirovich. For twenty years without execution, the executioner profession has simply disappeared.
In 1907, the collective work “Against the Death Penalty” was published in Moscow. Among its authors were Leo Tolstoy, Berdyaev, Rozanov, Nabokov Sr., Tomas Masaryk and other famous writers, jurists and historians. Branding the cruelty of royal power, they cite a complete, accurate, and list of names executed in Russia during the 81 year between the Decembrist uprising and the 1906 year. During this time, 2445 people were executed, that is, 30 executions were executed annually.
This figure, however, was influenced by two Polish uprisings 1830 and 1863gg. and the beginning of the 1905-1907 revolution. If you take peacetime, you get 19 executions per year. On the whole of huge Russia! What does this figure mean given the fact that during this period the death penalty for premeditated murder was used rigorously? She says that the killings themselves were extremely rare. (By the way, then very Finnish peoples were listed as Finns, they often used Caucasians to use their famous Finns.)
Two more illustrations to the question of the relationship to human life. The statute of the Russian army, whose authorship belongs to Peter I, prescribes assistance to the wounded during the battle. In the Prussian charter, assistance to the wounded was provided only after the battle. The French and English regulations of that time did not provide assistance to the wounded at all.
An earlier example. A mandatory part of the state policy of Russia-Russia was the redemption of their prisoners. This is what the chapter “On the Atonement of Prisoners” says of the 1551 Cathedral of the Year: “In the hordes and in Tsaregrad and in the Crimea ... of all the captives taken from the Tsar's treasury”. Ambassadors had target money to pay for the ransom, which they then reimbursed the treasury. But that is not all. Rich Levantine merchants and diplomats sometimes came to Russia with whole retinues, which included captive Christians. The Russian authorities did not allow them to be brought back under any pretext: “And the captives who brought Orthodox captives to the Orthodox, recaptured the Greeks and Turkmens, Armenians or other guests, and being in Moscow, would delight them again with the story, otherwise they would not stand firmly; Yes, they are paid from the Tsar's treasury. "
Here is an example of a completely different attitude to your own. This is a Polish example, but Poland has always passionately wanted to be and to have the reputation of Europe, Europe, Europe. In the autumn of 1653, the Polish king Jan Casimir was eager to deal with Bogdan Khmelnitsky, although the latter temporarily had a strong ally in the face of the Crimean Khan. When the Poles, Cossacks and Crimeans came together on the banks of the Dniester near the town of Zhvanets, it turned out that the Crimean Khan was no longer Khmelnytsky’s ally: the Poles managed to persuade the Khan towards a separate world. But under what conditions! Khan breaks with Khmelnitsky - and as a reward, on the way back, he can rob everything he wants, take as many prisoners as he wants. In the lands of the Polish crown! Until the end of the year, the Crimeans unlawfully robbed gentry houses (“for the most Lublin”) and took many of the nobility of both sexes into captivity - it was much more profitable for them than to rob the poor Little Russian “flakes”.
Many German princes traded their subjects, supplying cannon fodder abroad. The King of Saxony Frederick Augustus I (1670-1733), better known as Augustus the Strong, was very fond of porcelain and was happy to exchange porcelain items (the so-called "cabinet") for the French King 150 for only two regiments of his infantry. They like to give this example as proof of how highly porcelain was highly valued at the beginning of the 18th century, but for some reason they never bring it to show how low human life was valued in Europe at that time.
According to Brockhaus and Efron (v. 16, p. 580), Landgraf of Hesse-Kassel Friedrich "fell into debt, to cover which England sold 17 to thousands of his troops for war with the American colonies for 21 million thalers." More precisely, he just sold all his army, he wasn’t able to scrape more: the landgrave population decreased by 8% from this sale. The duke of Brunswick, landgraves Waldecki, Hanau, Anspach, and other minor German monarchs conducted similar trade. German soldiers from the possessions of the West German principalities were also systematically bought by the French government. A large number of German soldiers were purchased by the British East India Company, using them to conquer India.
Almost a century and a half before, on the contrary, the British offered their cannon fodder. In June, 1646, Lord Strafford, and Member of Parliament Fleming told the Russian envoy in London, Gerasim Dokhturov: “If the royal majesty needs serving people, then the parliament for the royal majesty will have thousands of soldiers ready immediately.”
Here is how the British suppressed the sepoy revolt in India (1857 g. - 1858 g.)
Delhi's re-seizure by the British 19 on September 1857 of the year was extremely cruel. The city was simultaneously attacked by four army columns - no wonder that a wave of looting and destruction swept through it. The soldiers were given a go-ahead for a three-day unpunished plundering of Delhi. Mughal treasures and everything that could be found in Red Fort - transportable historical and cultural values, jewelry, weapon and the clothes of the royal family, even marble slabs and mosaics, were stolen. Soldiers and officers participated in the looting. As a certain captain Griffith noted, “we went into houses belonging to representatives of the richest class of local residents, and everywhere found the same picture — destroyed houses, mutilated expensive utensils that could not be carried away ... Many English soldiers took away jewelry and gold jewelry I took the pearl necklaces and gold mohurs (the coin worth 15 of rupees) from my colleagues, taken from the bodies of the murdered citizens. Stolen in Delhi and got to England, where he was brought "returned from the colonies," the British, many of the items became exhibits of the British Museum in London.
To get even for the defeat, the British subjected to "desacralization" of many objects of religious worship. In the mosques organized bakeries, barracks and shops. Beautiful medieval buildings destroyed "for security reasons." Thirty-three villages in the suburbs of Delhi confiscated agricultural land. Then the massacres began. In all corners of the country, on which the insurgency swept, the victorious British blamed for the treason of all the inhabitants of the insurgent regions without exception. Often they tortured and killed innocent people. Captain Hudson ordered to strip naked and then execute the sons of King Bahadur Shah. The executions of the rebels and their leaders were accompanied by such an unimaginable "peripheral" massacre that even some British officers could not contain their disgust. Lieutenant Colonel T. Rice Holmes wrote in his notes about the trials organized by the field courts in Delhi that “native groups put the Military Commissariat or special commissioners on trial, each of whom was given the exclusive right to pardon and execute on behalf of the government. These judges were not at all inclined to show mercy. Almost all those who appeared before the court were found guilty, and almost all those found guilty were sentenced to death. In a prominent place in the city, a four-square-foot gallows was installed, and every day five or six defendants were hanged on it. British officers sat around and, puffing on cigars, watched the victims convulse.
One suspicion of sympathy for the rebels was enough to wipe out entire villages from the face of the earth. Those who were not hung were tied to the cannons of the cannons and torn to pieces by volleys. Streets and houses drenched in blood were such a disgusting sight that one nineteen-year-old officer could not help feeling: “It was a real murder,” he wrote, “I have seen many bloody and horrible scenes lately, but I pray God that see nothing like what I had to contemplate yesterday. Although the women were spared, their screams at the sight of the massacre of their husbands and sons were so full of pain ... Lord knows — I am not a compassionate person, but when you see a gray-bearded old man in front of you, you must have an incredibly hard-hearted heart to look at it with complete indifference ... "
The insurgency was crushed with exceptional cruelty. And no matter how the British tried to describe it only as “a riot of sepoys, and nothing more,” the facts spoke of something else. One of the representatives of the British administration in Delhi, T. Metcalfe, noted with regret that “the British live on a volcano, ready at any moment to explode with an outburst of merciless violence. All Udkhis with arms in their hands rebelled against us, not only regular troops, but also 60 thousands of people from the army of the ex-king. Zamindara and their servants, 250 forts, equipped with artillery to the teeth, act against us. They opposed to the Board of the Company (East Indies) the supreme power of their own kings and almost unanimously spoke in their support. Even mercenaries serving in the army became our opponents, and everyone, to the last man, joined the rebels "...